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I've been reading "After the Affair" by Janis and Michael Spring. This passage resonated with me and I figured I would share it:
"Love is not static. We grow dissatisfied and move apart; affection returns and we pull together again. Some people, ignorant of the process, pull away when the good times end and assume the bad times will last forever. These people flee, mope, or drift into affairs. Others see the ups and downs as part of a dynamic process, which, when anticipated and understood, can enrich and revitalize their relationship, even give it a punch.
If you accept that feelings of love are neither steady nor constant, but travel in natural cycles, you'll be more prepared to bear up under the turmoil that follows periods of contentment, and see beyond it. Some researchers have documented that periods of discontent come at four-year intervals. Others trace the stages of love in a more linear progression, from romance to disillusion to maturity.
As psychologists Barry Dyn and Michael Glenn put it, the first stage is one of expansion and promise. The second is a time of contraction and betrayal, when both of you become less compromising, less available for change, and begin to retreat into rigid patterns and routines, many of which predate your relationship. At this point you're likely to feel immensely let down with each other and caught up in a handful of well-defined, interpersonal struggles, all variations on the same few themes that repeat themselves in different forms throughout the life of your relationship. If these domestic scenes don't tear the two of you apart, or wear you down, and if you can come to terms with each other's limitations, you're likely to enter the third stage of love -- one of compromise, accomodation, integration, and resolution.
Thus, somewhere after the romantic prelude, and as a prerequisite to entering a more solid, secure, intimate relationship, what must inevitably take place is a period of disenchantment. The person you deified turns out to have clay feet. The fairy tale you were living is now, it seems, a true-life story with no happily-ever-after. Your criticisms are likely to escalate and become more shrill, and your level of sexual excitement to decline. If you're going to bridge those choppy waters, you'll have to come to terms with the dimunition of everything that once seemed so thrilling or easy when you were courting.
Every sustained relationship has these moments of annoyance and disappointment, its gall and wormwood, if only because two people rarely have the same needs at any given moment. Qualities that you like in your partner on one day you're likely to hate on another, not necessarily because of anything your partner says or does differently, but because of conflicts within yourself. The attention you were so grateful for last Tuesday, you may resent today as a threat to your independence. The charm and gallantry you so admired on Wednesday, you may dismiss on Thursday as excessive need for attention. Unless you're blinded by love, there is no way to ignore, or to deny, one side without the other, no way to separate out what you love from what you hate, for they are two sides of the same person."
What I take from this is that most of us on the board are in the period of disenchantment (or the victim of it). If we can DB and get through this, "mature love" waits on the other shore, with compromise and resolution waiting for us.
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12 Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11 Start Reconcile: 8/15/11 Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced) In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: Moving From Romantic Love to Mature Love
#2210754 01/06/1206:14 PM01/06/1206:14 PM
Thanks for the excerpt. It gives us LBS's hope to continue. I just wish someone could make the WAS see and understand this as well. It could save so much pain, tears, and agony and shorten the time of the "storm".
Me:32 H:34 T:14.5 M:9.5 S:5 BD: 11/25/11
Re: Moving From Romantic Love to Mature Love
#2210899 01/07/1203:48 AM01/07/1203:48 AM
I think "After the Affair" is a great book. Along with "Not Just Friends," it was one of my primary sources of info and comfort during the start of my sitch. If anyone has read "NJF," I suggest picking up "AA" as well. They each cover things that aren't in each other.
I agree with Accuray that most of us LBS' are surviving as victims of the "disillusionment" stage. How paradoxical that getting through this stage can lead to the happiest stage of all.
Accuray thank you thank you thank you. That resonated so much with me. So much! I pray each day that we can all make it to the other side. I pray each day that our WAS can read something to this effect.
Can you email this to my H for me, ... please?
I really believe that what is waiting for me is better than what I had. THank you again - loved it!
---- M 39 H 35 D5,D4 M 4 T 9 ILYBNILWY 5/18/11 Left 7/11/11 Divorced 12/1/13